Poverty isn’t normal. Especially among black people. It’s a disgusting phenomenon that’s rooted in oppression. The reality is that black lives were eternally and inherently altered before democracies were established. Of course, democracies are only surface freedom but before that, black people in Africa particularly were disenfranchised. Stripped of everything they owned and forced off their land. While a lot of black people have made strides towards having economic power, a lot of black people continue to live in poverty. In South Africa, more than half the children live in poverty. This is caused by the fact that black people as a whole were once dis-empowered coupled with social factors and the failure of current government structures to correct this.
As much as we can blame poverty on structural inequality and inequity, the free government has had the duty to change this for a long time now. The duty to restore the power to the people. Now with poverty still being a horrible problem all over the world and in South Africa, it’s fair to ask if our government is failing black people who were unable to integrate into a free society from the clutches of past injustices? Subjectively, absolutely.
The government, the media, the elite black people, society – everyone is failing the poor one way or another but collectively by normalizing it. The government by not creating opportunities to diminish the income gap, the media by not reporting on it as much as they should be, the elite black people by not actively being involved in poor communities and society by the lack of outrage. Being impoverished is not normal, we should all be outraged at the fact that in 2017, students are still learning in garages, people are still going to bed hungry, the fact that you see at least five homeless people in the streets every day.
It deserves outrage, it deserves action. There’s no such thing as lesser people, the sooner we understand that everyone deserves human par lifestyles, we’ll stop being so comfortable with other human beings living in sub-human conditions. No one is inherently meant to suffer, no one is meant to go to bed hungry.
So I’m calling on you to be outraged by poverty. Be angry, be hurt, then talk about it. Protest it! Go on social media, go on the streets, start a non-profit, sit outside your parliament with a poster to remind them that poor people exist even if it means sitting alone, DO IT. Do anything – but do something.